Nearly a year on since the Wordle craze began, the fun shows no signs of slowing down. If you’re a dedicated player, kudos to you for forming a good habit – and one that’s healthy for your brain since research suggests that playing word games can slow the rate of cognitive decline and help ward off illnesses like Alzheimer’s.
Still, after more than 365 daily puzzles, you may be looking for a way to freshen up your game. One way is to check out Wordle spinoffs – the Word Finder’s own Worldle, a geography-based guessing game, is one great option that offers the fun, quick challenge of a daily puzzle while stepping outside of the linguistic sphere. But you could also mix up your Wordle game itself. The best way to do so? Change up your starting word.
Some people start with a new word each day, and to them, I say: kudos! But most of us have a sort of strategy going into each game. Maybe you have 2 or 3 set starting words that you use every day, that nearly guarantee a solution by the fourth guess. Or maybe you like to make things hard for yourself with a word like PHPHT.
If you’re looking for a new one-word starter, you’re in luck. Here are seven of the best opening words for Wordle.
This word is recommended by the New York Times itself as the best way to start your Wordle game. This word is statistically ranked as the best starter because of its range of common letters. CRANE offers a strong start to any game. The silent E on the end is especially valuable, given that many five-letter words end with E. But players often don’t think about moving the letter to the end of the word.
Though AI analysis tools don’t consider it the best option, some Wordle players like starting their game off with a vowel-heavy word. For them, ADIEU is a popular choice. It includes every vowel except for O, as well as the common consonant D.
There are some challenges with this strategy. Namely, while it’s important to know what vowels are in a word, it doesn’t actually help you narrow down the options all that much since vowels are present in pretty much every word. So usually, we recommend these types of words in concert with another, consonant-heavier option. Still, if you’re looking to mix up your puzzle, this will get different nerves in your brain firing as you try to find a solution.
Likewise, AUDIO is a good option for those looking for vowel-heavy options. The difference: it includes that elusive O – just not an E. Both O and E are common letters, though E appears more frequently in English, so AUDIO isn’t as popular an option as ADIEU. But, again, it’s a very solid choice, especially for those who’ve gotten sick of their classic options and want to try something new.
SMART is a smart start – get it? It only has one vowel, which isn’t necessarily ideal. But it has a ton of great consonants, including S and T, which are some of the most common letters overall in English. Plus, the S appears at the start of the word, which is actually the most common placement for it in Wordles – despite popular opinion that it should commonly appear near the end of the solution.
This is the least commonly-used word on this list. It means “the ritual prayer of Muslims, performed five times daily in a set form.” It’s the plural form of “salah.” According to an MIT analysis, this is actually the best starting option for your Wordle – contradicting previous analyses done by the New York Times which showed CRANE was superior. Does this indicate a budding controversy? Not really – MIT just built a more powerful tool that was able to analyze more data from players. With two vowels plus that starting S and a T and L, it’s not hard to see why this is a great option for players.
Look, if you get one thing out of reading this list, it should be that it’s a good idea to find a word that starts with S. Or one that ends with E. Or, in this case, one that meets both those requirements. SLICE has two good vowels as well as three common consonants, making it a really solid option – as long as it doesn’t make you crave pizza every day when you fill out Wordle on your morning commute.
This doesn’t necessarily sound like the most optimistic start to your game, but it can provide a lot of good information. These words both pick out that common -ED ending to wordles, while also containing common consonants like T and R.